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Films From Japan

Dead or Alive 2: Birds, is far from a traditional sequel. Mizuki, a crack hitman fond of painfully loud shirts, is hired by an enigmatic magician played by Shinya Tsukamoto, director of the Tetsuo films (MIFF 1994) as well as Tokyo Fist (MIFF 1996) and Gemini (MIFF 2000). His target is a Yakuza ... Read more
Oshima, the celebiated director of Boy, the Ceremony, and Diary of a Shinkuju Thief, probes the effects of the USA occupation on the indigenous culture of the inhabitants of Okinawa, and explores the guilt feelings of the Japanese about the island, which remained under foreign control until 1972 ... Read more
"The 'Tea Horse Route' is the highest and most perilous of China's ancient trading routes, originating in western Yunnan, ascending the Tibetan plateau, winding through the Himalayas into Nepal, Bhutan and India. Tea was carried along this route by pack-mules for more than two millennia, and ... Read more
Opening this year's Rotterdam International Film Festival, acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Abolfazl Jalili's latest film (supported through the Hubert Bals Fund for innovative talent in developing countries) is equal parts poetic beauty and stark realism. ... Delbaran is a small Iranian bordertown ... Read more
A stranger appears in a drought stricken area His appearance is greeted with mysterious suspicion. He arrives deep in the mountains and encounters a beautiful woman He notices that the river flows and she explains that its source is the Demon Pond. ... Eventually he discovers that the woman's ... Read more
The global phenomenon of James Bond is an archetypal instance of 60s audiovisual brashness. The sheer loudness and pictorial noise of the first Bond films and their ironic self-consciousness reverberated throughout world cinema, creating many a transcultural mutant in the espionage genres. Far from ... Read more
A massacre initiated by the followers of an apocalyptic religious sect has left more than 100 people dead - including the self-appointed executioners slain by fellow cult members. Three years have passed… On the anniversary of the slaughter, four friends who lost loved ones in the tragedy ... Read more
Akira Kurosawa's first film in five years centres on the inhabitants of a shanty-town society. ... The town is little more than an ugly array of metal sheets and tar paper shacks resembling the city dump. Despite its appearance the inhabitants, albeit their hand to mouth existence, seek happiness ... Read more
A prison movie like no other, this amiable biographical film is a sheer delight. Cult manga author Hanawa Kazuichi spend three years in jail, for possession of replica guns he used in simulated battles, and upon release created a popular account of 'doing time'. This is not a Midnight Express-type ... Read more
This animated film is based on an ancient tale about a young widow who falls In love with a monk who shuns her attentions. She sets out in pursuit, and finally, in the guise of a big white snake catches up with him in Dojoii temple. ... Read more
The latest work from iconoclast Kitano 'Beat' Takeshi (Hana-Bi, MIFF 1998) weaves together three stories of undying love, delicately intertwined by the beauty of sadness and inspired by the emotions expressed in the tradrtional Japanese doll theatre, Bunraku. ... Bound together by a long red cord ... Read more
Doppelganger (Dopperugenga) JapanDescribed by Screen International as 'Japan's cult master of bizarre mystery', Kurosawa Kiyoshi unleashes Doppelganger, an intense fusion of macabre horror, dread and dark humour. One of Japan's most original voices, Kurosawa also directed another intriguing film in ... Read more
Based on a script written by Akira Kurosawa, Dora-Heita is directed by his 85-year-old friend and collaborator, Kon Ichikawa and returns to a golden age of Samurai sagas. Koheita Mochizuki is a samurai with a reputation for debauchery and drunkenness that has earned him the nickname Dora-Heita ... Read more
Masahiro Shinoda made his first film in 1960, and was immediately hailed as one of the Japanese New Wave. Since then he has made fourteen films, the most recent of which is Double Suicide, which, like his other work, reveals a complex concern for the limits which social conventions place upon the ... Read more
A tape which uses a two frame animation technique developed on the Fairlight CVI. This technique emphasises body movement as a 'decoder' of culture. ... Read more
D Joji 'George' Iida P Takashi Hirano S Masaru Nakamura, Hiroshi Saito, Joji 'George' Iida WS Pony Canyon Inc. L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/2003/122minsJoji 'George' Iida was born in Suwa City, Japan in 1959. Films: Battle Heater: Kotatsu (1990), Tokyo Babylon 1999 (1993), Rasen ... Read more
"Today dinner plates of the Japanese family are occupied by the plasuc food sold m supermarkets In cinemas it's ail the same This is the stams quo of Japan, a wretched economic giant I myself, being poor and sour, wanted to retaliate and made this short film." ... "Dream Running experiments with ... Read more
A companion piece of sorts to Mermaid, Drop utilizes similar brush and wash backgrounds, but stylizes its central protagonist in broader caricature. Tezuka made this film in one week as a demonstration to his staff at Mushi that experimental anime could be done quickly and economically. ... Read more
On its release, a mass media campaign was waged against the release of Ecstasy of the Angels accusing the film of inflaming ‘random terrorism'. ... Known as the ‘Pink Godfather'- referring to his pioneering efforts in the pinku eiga genre - Koji Wakamatsu anticipates the real-life violent ... Read more
“As a spectacle, it's stunning in its dynamism and the last half-hour presents one of the most libidinal depictions of a mass uprising since Eisenstein restaged the storming of the Winter Palace.” - Village Voice An exuberant history lesson, Eijanaika (or ‘Why not!' as the cry translates) ... Read more
The second year of the Keio Era (1 866) Japan is in the midst of a turbulent period Boiling in the minds of the masses is something pointing toward the coming of a new age While transporting raw silk off Yokohama, Genji, a poor farmer, had been ship-wrecked. A passing American ship picked him up ... Read more
Playing by a high-voltage power pylon as a child, Dragon Eye Morrison receives a massive electric shock. Rather than terminate his young life, the charge ignites a long dormant, prehistoric predisposition for blind rage in his brain. Morrison's dragon has been awakened. Scientists try vainly to ... Read more
"My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me'" Christ's plea from the cross resonates through Aoyama Shinji's ([Eureka], MIFF 00) bleak vision of a post-apocalyptic world overwhelmed with despair. Featuring in this year's Un Certain Regard at Cannes, it showcases Aoyama's truly idiosyncratic vision ... Read more
With Emperor Tomato Ketchup, Shuji Terayama takes a Lord of the Flies story hook and milks it to immoral extremes. His hand-held pastiche depicts a world ruled by children - children who, armed with weaponry, rape and assault women, physically abuse men and seek to annihilate any remnants of the ... Read more
Nagisa Oshima, in his companion piece to his celebrated Empire of the Senses, once again turns to the subject of passion and death, and once again, to a real happening — this time taking place in a remote village, in 1895. But, unlike the former story of a man and a woman destroying ... Read more
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